China backs French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde as a candidate to head the International Monetary Fund, the French government's spokesman, Francois Baroin, said Tuesday. "A European consensus is being elaborated. We must have a European. The Chinese are favorable to the appointment of Christine Lagarde," Mr. Baroin told French radio Europe 1. "Given circumstances and the fact that there is no national pride in this matter, France doesn't have to position itself first." Mr. Baroin, who is also French Budget Minister, added that the French government doesn't want to make any gesture that may be interpreted as "contemptuous" or "arrogant" toward emerging countries. IMF member countries have to appoint a new managing director to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned last week amid allegations he sexually assaulted a maid at a hotel in New York. He was indicted Thursday. European countries are expected to support a European candidate, with Ms. Lagarde the likely contender if she decides to run. But several developing countries have said they would rather see a non-European holding the top job at the IMF.